Tuesday, February 22, 2011

An Enemy of God?

"Behold, as the eyes of the servants look to the hand of their master... so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he has mercy upon us."
- Psalm 121

How much of my life depends on God's mercy? All of it! My own life pain is showing me this reality. And it's a reality that's been echoed by the saints for centuries.

It's found in the most common prayer of all time: "Lord Jesus have mercy on me, a sinner." When I think of this line, I always have in mind some tattered and dirty monk (definitely with dirty finger-nails) sitting on top of a pole in the middle of the desert swaying precariously and chanting. I don't know why, but when I think of "mystic," "saint" or "monk" this is what I think. Maybe it's a physical manifestation of what I believe it means to be penitent. Or maybe I just have a weird imagination.

But what does it mean to receive mercy? Let's go to Google: 1. It is experience the "discretionary power of a judge to pardon someone or to mitigate punishment." 2. Mercy is the "compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy..."

I rarely think of myself as an enemy of God. But I am. I need his mercy. Every day I need it. From the moment my toes hit the floor in the morning (sometimes my drool hits the floor first) from the moment my toes leave the floor to slither back under covers at night, the natural impulses that coarse through my entire being are to fight my creator. Sigh. Such is the fall.

I love how this Psalm pictures us as servants looking eagerly to the hand of our master. For we are in this state every day. Every waking and sleeping moment (I believe I can sin in my sleep. Come to think of it, I've killed a lot of people in my sleep. My dream life definitely needs Jesus.) we are dependant on our kind master.

I know I think that I'm not really an enemy of God's. Now that I have Jesus living in me, I'm on his side right? Yes and no. The me Jesus is resurrecting is on his side, but the me I'm more familiar with shows all the signs of being a bad, bad guy.

That's why too much introspection can be a depressing thing. I never do this. But without it as a practise in our lives, we don't recognise even a hint of what we've been saved from. I know that sounds a little "Christianeze," but I'm beginning to find that all of my instincts are dead set against God. I need both his pardon and his grace to live.

The back-story to all this is that I've been taking a moral inventory every night, in which I list the top three positive things I've done and then list the top three negative things. It's amazing how difficult a practise this is. I don't really think of myself in these terms. I waltze through life as a self-absorbed ego-maniac. And it's hard for an ego-maniac to look at his own life objectively. Everything I do is good, or everything I do is bad. Little do I know that God views me differently. I'm an enemy that needs mercy.

That's why I need to come to my master with eyes firmly fixed on his good hand. I need his mercy, and so do you. You probably need it more than I do. Mercy me, did I just say that?

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